Some things just defy belief. Take this, a segment from a recent BBC ‘gossip page’: “Tottenham striker Peter Crouch will not make himself available to play for England while Fabio Capello is coach because he felt humiliated by being left out against Switzerland.” Perhaps Crouch is merely attempting to challenge Nicklas Bendtner in the lanky-striker, inflated ego stakes.
Is the Tottenham striker suffering from delusions of grandeur, or is he really worthy of a starting berth in Capello’s England team?
Some might claim that given Crouch’s goal-scoring record with England (a none-too-shabby 22 goals in 42 appearances) that he should at least make the squad. What’s more given just how poor Darren Bent looked against Switzerland and Bobby Zamora’s lack of prowess, perhaps there’s an argument to be had that Crouch should have started in England’s most recent International.
Moreover, does he deserve to be behind Bobby Zamora in the pecking order?
Yet, there’s a fairly decent response to be made against those claims. Peter Crouch has had no form in the Premier League. More often than not his presence has hindered rather than helped Tottenham. Enough has been said about Spur’s lack of firepower upfront and Crouch is one of a number of players who haven’t contributed the goals they needed to for Tottenham this season.
Let’s not forget that Crouch’s goals for England have also tended to come against minnows, rather than in the big, important games.
Despite the fact that Crouch has lost a lot of fans this season, I’ve always been impressed with his attitude and general professionalism. He’s never spoken out of turn before and the way he’s reacted to his being dropped from the England side seems somewhat out of character. If it’s true, however, that Crouch is considering giving up his role in the England set-up as a result of one game then serious questions need to be asked about his temperament.
What this all boils down to is the following: England are an average International side and Crouch is an average player. Perhaps the two were made for each other. Beyond Wayne Rooney and the upcoming Andy Carroll, there’s little for England to be excited by when it comes to strikers.
Darren Bent never seems to perform on the big stage. Jermaine Defoe is going through a worse patch of form than even Peter Crouch is. As such, whilst his reaction to being dropped wasn’t particularly graceful, perhaps it was justified.
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